The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) presents a new video series, Voices From the Front Lines of the Drug War, chronicling the people and organizations that are working to end the drug war. In partnership with Luceo Images, DPA is piloting four moving and inspiring vignettes of people making incredible strides in addressing the worst harms of the drug war and creating new policies based in science, compassion, health and human rights.
The war on drugs is a war on people. That’s why DPA is releasing a series of four short videos illustrating the human stories behind the movement to end the drug war. The video series profiles the stories and work of organizations that DPA funds through our Advocacy Grants Program, which advances drug policy reform at the local, state, and national levels. DPA strategizes and collaborates with our funded partners to promote policy change as a cohesive movement.
The first video features drug policy reformer Denise Cullen, executive director of GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) and Broken No More. At a time when the nation is reeling from the prevalence of fatal drug overdoses, Denise discusses the loss of her son, Jeff, and says, “I feel I have to put my energy into doing things that will change this so other people don’t go through what we went through, and that starts with our policy reform.”
Denise became an outspoken advocate for drug policy reform after losing her son to an overdose in 2008. Her organizations serve over 2,500 families and have 85 chapters across the United States and Canada.
DPA works to end the drug war by supporting organizations like GRASP and Broken No More, organizations dedicated to promoting compassionate drug policy reform and to helping those who have lost loved ones speak truth to power.
And when it comes to the issue of overdose, our work is already having an enormous impact and saving many lives. Over the past few years, we have taken the lead and won state-level reforms to reduce overdose deaths, such as 911 Good Samaritan laws and naloxone access reforms, in dozens of states around the country.
Melissa Franqui is the communications coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance.